JMU football's season comes to an end with loss at Colgate

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Chris Puzzi split the uprights on a 38-yard field goal as time expired to lift No. 8 seed Colgate to a 23-20 victory against James Madison on Saturday afternoon at Andy Kerr Stadium in the second round of the 2018 NCAA FCS Playoffs.

Colgate improves to 10-1 and advances to the FCS quarterfinals, while the Dukes’ season ended at 9-4.


JMU led 13-6 early in the third before Colgate put together back-to-back scoring drives to take its first lead, at 20-13, with 3:51 to go in the quarter
Early in the fourth, D’Angelo Amos returned a punt into Colgate territory, setting up JMU’s game-tying drive. Ben DiNucci finished the possession with a seven-yard run, his ninth rushing touchdown of the season to tie the game at 20-20 with 8:22 to play.
JMU got the ball back after a defensive stop, but the Raiders stalled the Dukes on a fake punt attempt with 2:46 to play, setting up the game-winning drive.
Colgate produced five interceptions while only turning the ball over once. The five picks were one off the record for most picks by JMU.
JMU’s defense produced four sacks, including 1.5 by John Daka. Adam Smith had a sack, while three others added a half sack. Eight players recorded a tackle for loss in the game, as Mike Greene and Jimmy Moreland added 1.5 each.
Dimitri Holloway led the game with 13 tackles, while Adeeb Atariwa and Ron’Dell Carter each registered career highs, with 11 and 10 tackles, respectively.
The Dukes rushed for 200 yards on the afternoon, led by DiNucci’s 76 yards. Cardon Johnson also had 66 yards and score.
JMU out-gained Colgate 392-330 and went 4-for-4 on red-zone scoring opportunities.
Colgate was led by Grant Breneman, who passed for 190 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 33 more and a score. James Holland led all players with 89 rushing yards, and Owen Rockett had five catches for 104 yards and a TD.


1st, 12:28 | JMU moved the ball quickly on the opening drive, going 57 yards on six plays, capped off by a two-yard run by Cardon Johnson to make it 7-0
1st, 3:07 I Chris Puzzi knocked home a 37-yard field goal to make it 7-3
2nd, 13:19 | Ratke set a JMU single-season record for field goals, converting a 34-yard kick to make it 10-3 for the Dukes
2nd, 2:30 | JMU’s defense held Colgate inside the 10, and Puzzi hit a 23 yarder to make it 10-6 at the break
3rd, 13:33 | Ron’Dell Carter registered his first career strip sack on the first play of the second half, and JMU added a field goal on a 38-yard try by Ratke to make it 13-6
3rd, 10:39 | Grant Breneman keeps it and rushes 32 yards up the middle for a touchdown to tie it at 13-13
3rd, 03:51 | Colgate converts twice on third down and caps off a 90-yard drive with a 14-yard pass from Breneman to Owen Rockett, giving Colgate its first lead at 20-13
4th, 8:22 | After a 42-yard punt return by D’Angelo Amos, the Dukes go 44 yards over six plays and Ben DiNucci keeps it for a seven-yard touchdown to tie it at 20-20.
4th, 0:03 | A Harry O’Kelly failed fake punt turned the ball over to Colgate with 2:46 to play. The Raiders drove the ball 40 yards into JMU territory and Chris Puzzi split the uprights from 38 yards as time expired.


JMU’s group of 11 seniors finish their career with a compiled 46-9 career overall record, which includes a 27-3 mark at Bridgeforth Stadium.

JMU's seniors have been part of one of the program's most successful stretch runs, as the Dukes won three straight Colonial Athletic Association championships from 2015-17, advanced to the NCAA Division I Championship game in the two previous seasons, which included winning the national title in 2016.